URI to showcase research, innovation at Discovery event, April 13

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Keynote presentation by Keith Stokes to open event at 11 a.m.

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 17, 2011 – Research and innovation at the University of Rhode Island will be in the spotlight April 13 at Discovery@URI, an event that will showcase the intellectual productivity of students and faculty and demonstrate how that work can contribute to economic development.

The highlight of the program will be a display of posters from 12:30 to 3 p.m. in the Carothers Library on the Kingston campus featuring 100 examples of the best scholarly and creative work being done in URI’s eight major academic units, from science and engineering to health and the humanities. Among the projects included will be research to harvest solar energy from roadway pavements, create markets for sustainable technologies, and determine how novel compounds fight epilepsy.

The event begins at 11 a.m. with a keynote presentation by Keith Stokes, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., who will examine the role of university research as a driver of economic development and how it fits into the state’s long-term growth plan. A panel discussion about how to translate research into jobs, start-up companies, and economic development will follow.

“This will be a signature event that will demonstrate the level of exciting intellectual activity that is taking place here at URI,” said Nasser Zawia, dean of the URI Graduate School and coordinator of the event. “We hope it will enable everyone on campus to see what important work is being done and stimulate collaboration across disciplines on campus and with the business community around the region. It’s really a showcase for the big thinking that is taking place on campus.”

Participants in the panel discussion, which will be moderated by Zawia, are Leslie Taito, chief executive officer of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service, Umberto Crenca, founding artistic director of AS220, and Paul Hastings, a URI alumnus who is president of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals in Redwood, Cal., which pioneers the development of novel therapeutics that target cancer stem cells.

An awards ceremony honoring the best student research will conclude the event at 3:30 p.m.

For more information or to register to attend the event, visit www.uri.edu/discovery or contact Michelle Grambley at 401-874-2263 or mgrambley@mail.uri.edu.